003797Reviews & Counting
Alone in the Dark (DC)
DVD disk
10.08.2007 By: Quigles
Alone in the Dark (DC) order
Uwe Boll

Christian Slater
Stephen Dorff
Tara Reid


star Printer-Friendly version
Very loosely based on the videogame of the same name, ALONE IN THE DARK features a paranormal investigator, evil monsters, and zombie people. If you get anything more out of the plot, you're paying too much attention.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to hold all jealousy until after the review. I realize you schmoes out there have been desperately awaiting this amazing new Director's Cut of ALONE IN THE DARK, but alas, I got it first. So suck on that.

Now... what's left to say about a movie so bad it rates a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 2.2 out of 10 on IMDB? What's left to say about yet another film from the master of cinematic abortion, Uwe Boll (HOUSE OF THE DEAD, BLOODRAYNE)? What's left to say about a movie starring Christian Slater as a gun-toting kung-fu fighting paranormal investigator, Stephen Dorff as a hardass walking cliché government agent, and Tara Reid as an archaeologist?

The answer: Nothing. But I can repeat what you already know: This movie sucks. A LOT.

It's so bad, it's opening consists of 1 minute and 30 seconds of voiceover sounding very reminiscent to that of a Discovery Channel documentary, narrating enough scrolling text to fill a college dissertation. That's the "expected" type of bad. The oh-dear-lord-you-can't-believe-any-director-would- think-that-was-a-good-idea type of bad. The kind that offers exactly what you'd imagine a Uwe Boll film would. From there, however, the awfulness of the film is filled with surprises.

Even the worst theatrical releases usually offer more than what you'd find in bottom of the barrel STV releases, but not this one. It feels like a studio took the worst script they could find, coupled it with the worst director, and then tossed in half a dozen expensive-looking shots (blatantly lifting from Michael Bay and the Wachowskis) and a ton of CGI monsters. Both of the latter elements admittedly add some visual flair to the proceedings, but to be honest, they're mostly distracting in that they contrast strongly against how dire the rest of the film is, and in that you can't help but be baffled by the amount of money wasted on such dreck. The acting is horrendous, the story is incomprehensible, the dialogue is unbearable, the music is inappropriate, and the direction is even worse than you'd expect. Yes, it's really that bad.

Anyway, after the laughter-inducing slow crawl, we're introduced to Carnby (Christian Slater) on a plane. He's just had a nightmare. A boy tells him there's nothing to be afraid of in the dark (despite it being completely light out), because his mommy said so. "Your mother's wrong, kid." says Carnby, "Being afraid of the dark is what keeps most of us alive." After attempting to traumatize the kid, we're introduced to Carnby again, this time through a voiceover narration of him introducing himself. "My name is Edward Carnby and I'm here to protect you from the things you don't believe." He also explains he was just trying to protect that kid on the plane. How mysterious.

About now is where we get to the taxicab car chase with the evil, snarling bald guy. Baldy smashes the taxi, but Carnby leaps out of it in slow motion before he can get to it. Then they exchange some quick-cut Matrix-style kicks, punches, and flips, and even a couple tosses through windows. By this point, I wasn't so much focused by what was onscreen, but rather, why there was so much brightness in a movie called ALONE IN THE DARK.

Once the film gets to the 15-minute mark, it stops being funny. It simply becomes dull and painful. The only remotely appealing aspect of the production is the very brief appearance from JoBlo.com's own Arrow in the Head (a.k.a. John Fallon). But even then, you can't help but wish his cameo was featured in a film that wasn't so astonishingly awful. Well, at least there's always Deaden.
The special features are more entertaining than the film, but that's not saying much.

For those curious what's on the new "Unrated Director's Cut" (and if you are, WHY?), I'm not positive. Uwe Boll says in the commentary that he's added a few minutes of gore and action, and removed a couple of dull scenes. Too bad he didn't remove the whole film. Baam!

Audio Commentary (with director Uwe Boll): This track was newly recorded for this DVD, so the negative response to it has been duly noted. Boll actually seems like a nice, personable guy, just so long as you don't put him near a movie. His comments are honest and forthcoming, but he holds himself in way too high a regard. It's a little sad.

Raging Boll (10:07): A very entertaining featurette trying to show the lighter side to Uwe Boll, while not skimming over the negatives. Nothing said here made me respect Boll any more, but I did laugh a lot at his asinine insights into filmmaking.

Into the Dark (7:43): A standard making-of featurette, with everybody blissfully unaware of the horrible response the movie would come to get upon its release, and interview segments with Christian Slater struggling to say positive things about it.

Shedding a Light (9:28): This film doesn't have good visual effects, but they're still the best part of the production. Here, we get an inside look at how they were done.

Storyboard-to-Scene Comparisons: There are 3, one of which is an animatic. Why would anybody want to see this? Possibly to show how much work goes into making even the most awful films?

Also included are the film's Theatrical Trailer and several Previews.
Reviewing ALONE IN THE DARK is a lot like reviewing animal feces. It's pointless. You already know it's awful, so all that's left to say is just how awful it really is. I rate ALONE IN THE DARK slightly above cow dung, but just a notch below horse. Mostly because its smell doesn't permeate as much.
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